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Caribbean Premier League: The story so far

Kevin Pietersen ODI 371.336x254From Betting BetFair

Kevin Pietersen’s arrival has come too late to save St Lucia Zouks in this season’s CPL Kevin Pietersen’s arrival has come too late to save St Lucia Zouks in this season’s CPL

Not even Kevin Pietersen could save St Lucia and with the CPL group stages coming to a close, Matt Harris looks at the prospects for the six remaining teams and fancies Jamaica to retain their crown.


Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel

T&T currently head the CPL table with six wins from a possible seven and the Red Steel are looking strong after a slow start to the competition. Having struggled to chase down Barbados’ 124 in their opener, Dwayne Bravo’s men lost their second game to Guyana as Sunil Narine bowled a maiden in the Super Over but things have steadily improved.

Kevin O’Brien’s 90 from 49 balls sealed a win over Antigua and since that point, Darren Bravo and Evin Lewis have been particularly strong with the bat and T&T are peaking perfectly ahead of the semi final stages.


Jamaica Tallawahs

In contrast to the Red Steel, Jamaica started this tournament strongly as Chris Gayle blitzed the CPL’s first ever century – 111 from just 63 deliveries – in the Tallawah’s opening victory against St Lucia. Gayle’s men have an identical record to the league leaders with six wins from seven and are just behind T&T on net run rate.

The issues for Jamaica at times is they rely too heavily on Gayle for their runs but this year the big left hander has received good support from Chadwick Walton and former England international Owais Shah. Bowling is also strong with Rusty Theron, Jerome Taylor and Dave Bernard keeping things tight while Dan Vettori has wheeled out his decrepit frame to take vital wickets at times.

Overall, the Tallawahs have been more consistent than T&T and have greater quality in depth, making Gayle’s men a better bet for the outright win.


Guyana Amazon Warriors

The Amazon Warriors currently sit four points off the leading pair with four wins from seven and that indicates mixed form ahead of the knockouts. Sunil Narine is back to his best but the mystery spinner needs better support at times from those around him.

Krishma Santokie can be a wizard with the ball at times but like Jade Dernbach and others have recently found out, it doesn’t take long for sides to work out your variations. Guyana’s real concerns are with the bat however where overseas imports Mohammed Hafeez, Martin Gutpill and Jimmy Neesham haven’t contributed enough to take the pressure away from the impressive Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin.


Barbados Tridents

The Tridents currently occupy the last qualifying slot but the poor records of the teams below mean that Kieron Pollard’s side are already through to the last four. Dwayne Smith followed Gayle’s ton with a century of his own and the opener has been in top form throughout 2014 while Shoaib Malik and Pollard himself have also made useful runs in the group phase.

Sri Lankan Jeevan Mendis has provided economy and penetration with the ball while big Jason Holder finally looks to be fulfilling his immense potential. Barbados look a better overall unit than Guyana and if any side is capable of upsetting the market, the Tridents seem best placed.


St Lucia Zouks

While Kevin Pietersen was helping his Surrey side to a place at English T20’s finals day, his St Lucia outfit were quietly being eliminated after a string of six straight defeats. It’s debatable as to how well the former England man will be received after his late arrival but in truth, the Zouks should have provided a much stronger challenge to the top four.

South African Henry Davids is a reliable performer in this format while Andre Fletcher, Johnson Charles and Darren Sammy should have been compiling the big totals that would have kept St Lucia in the hunt.


Antigua Hawksbills

Having just missed out on a qualifying place in 2013, Antigua are eliminated with the worst record in the CPL. Seven straight losses make qualification impossible and while skipper Marlon Samuels has underperformed, supporters will be puzzled by the lack of contribution from the Aussie trio of Ben Dunk, David Hussey and Brad Hogg.

Many changes in personnel are required if the Hawksbills are to threaten in 2015.

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